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Trip to Canada

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I’m back home after a 1550 mile trip to Toronto to meet Els, her dear husband, and Lorna and her charming young daughter.  Photos of us may come later when I get permission to post them but in the mean time I can show you me in shorts I made and a store bought top.  The shorts were cut from Burda Plus Fall/Winter 2008,  a pattern that fit me 2 years ago so there were no surprises except that I was losing weight.  After wine every evening with Els, however, that trend chugged to a stop!

The Thimble, Symbol of Toronto's Fashion District

Two things are unusual about this photo:  I am standing still. I am standing alone.

The ONLY serious complaint I have about Toronto is that the streets are not easy to walk.  They are dangerously uneven.  I’m used to uneven surfaces in country fields but in the city there is so much to watch out for that all the bad paving is difficult.  Especially if you walk miles and miles 🙂

Els and I met up on Wednesday evening at the Isabella Hotel where we all stayed and had non-stop fun until we went our separate ways on Sunday.  We have been writing each other since 2004, and collaborating on The Sewing Divas since 2006.  It was high time we met!

On Friday evening we gathered for dinner with two wonderful ladies I met in Palm Springs at the January 2009 Claire Shaeffer’s Couture Jacket Tailoring workshop, Sharron and Katherine. Can the Canadians be the most witty and charming people on earth?  Just maybe so.

And on Friday night, but too late to join our dinner, into Toronto flew Lorna and her daughter!  We spent Saturday negotiating the public transit system and touring the Fashion District, visiting fabric stores that Els and I had missed on Thursday.  Lorna’s daughter, it turns out, has a great eye for quality fabrics.  No question how that happened!

We topped off the day with a lovely visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario.  Oh my gosh, I enjoyed the gallery so much that I finally “got” the Abstract Expressionist New York movement, (AKA AbEx), something I’ve been reaching for since I was first aware of this intellectual movement born in NYC in the 40’s and 50’s.

So that’s really something.

But the AbEx was just the tip of the iceberg.  The range of paintings and sculpture is astounding and a thorough viewing could take more than 6 hours.  Also showing that day were:  Inuit Modern, Art in the 20th CenturyWhere I was born…” : A Photograph, a Clue, and the Discovery of Abel Boulineau; and The Thomson Collection: which “comprises Canadian paintings, First Nations objects, European works of art – primarily northern European sculpture and decorative arts dating from the early Middle Ages to the mid 19th century – plus ship models from the Napoleonic era to the 20th century. ” And then there’s the building itself which entertained Lorna’s daughter outside for the hours that Els and I gaped at the treasures inside.   Visit this Gallery if you ever get to Toronto.  It’s truly worth the visit.

Oh, there’s more:  we found the Mokuba store in Toronto, a bit smaller than the NYC store shown by the link, but astounding just the same!  We found The Wool House (of course we did, I’ve been obsessed with their fabrics since they first came to a US sewing expo in 2003).  The Wool House has a Facebook page, by the way. We found the biggest, cheapest commercial kitchen store in China Town and the best Vietnamese restaurant in Toronto.  We found a new-to-Els Williams-Sonoma store, avoided the Chanel and other high end retailers, and dropped into Divine Decadence only to be transported to the era when dressmakers would recreate the latest gowns for their wealthy clients.

Seriously, have you ever met long time pen pals and felt that the family has finally been united?  I couldn’t have asked for a better dream come true!  And I must tahnk Els’ husband for putting up with us women.  He is a brave and fascinating man.

A big shout out to Els, Sharron and Katherine, and Lorna.  You are all just simply wonderful and will be in my heart forever!



About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

12 responses »

  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip!!!!

  2. I´m happy for you…, and for Els….!!!

  3. Mary Beth, thanks for this update, Els send me a link to this post. Of course she keeps us up-to-date with emails but she leaves out things too. 😉

  4. Sounds like an all-around great trip! Except for the sidewalks…

  5. I love the giant thimble! Bostons sidewalks are like that in our case they’re brick which looks nice but is hell on shoes.

  6. So glad to hear that you’re feeling well enough now to travel and enjoy your life. You weren’t doing so well a while ago. Continued good health to you.

  7. MaryBeth, thanks again for driving all the way to meet me in Toronto for 4 days. I enjoyed every minute with you, chatting at the patio drinking red wine, strolling around Toronto, visiting the fabric stores, china town, the museum and showing me the FAB kitchen store Williams Sonoma.( the Mango Splitter works like a charm)
    I will treasure these days for always.
    Friends for life.
    Hugs Els

  8. MaryBeth, thank you so much for inviting me to join up with you and Els. I learned so much over that weekend that I am still trying to take it all in! Also, thanks to both of you for including Sanns in the weekend. She is really looking forward to her sewing camp in two weeks. Thanks to you she officially has a stash of her own and i am ready to try colours I have never tried before!
    You both rejuvinated me!

  9. Wow! What a wonderful journey full of fun, tiredness and good friends encountered along the way …. Fabulous!!

  10. WOW what a special and wonderful opportunity !
    It’s So nice that you all got to meet.

  11. Pingback: On the Cutting Table | The Stitchery

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